I read with much interest and appreciated your article, “No new Fishers BMV branch” in the July 22, 2014 edition of Current of Fishers. As a Fishers resident of almost 18 years, I remember a time when Fishers was much smaller in population and at that time did not have a BMV branch. It was just as inconvenient then as it is now to travel to Noblesville or elsewhere to renew a license, etc. I recall a time where I waited for over three hours with children in tow to renew my driver’s license in Noblesville.
In mid-May of this year I went to the site of the former Fishers BMV only to discover that it was no longer in operation. I, like those mentioned in your article, was not pleased. Ultimately, I had to drive to McCordsville to have the auto title transferred and a new title reissued. At that time, I sent an email to State Senator Scott Schneider and asked why the Fishers BMV branch was discontinued. I received an expedient reply from his legislative assistant. The senator had relayed my concerns to the BMV and here is the response of the BMV:
“Please feel free to share with the constituent that in general, more than 50 percent of all BMV transactions are conducted online at www.myBMV.com. Since 2007, the number of transactions at the Fishers License branch had decreased by about 25 percent. Our data showed that many Fishers residents preferred other options, including our website, www.myBMV.com, to conduct transactions on their own time without the need to travel or wait in line at a branch. Other options include our smart phone app (available for iPhone and Android), U.S. mail and phone (1-888-myBMV-41/option 3).
Improvements have been made to the Noblesville, McCordsville, Carmel, Nora and Lawrence locations to compensate for the closure and ensure the continuation of fast, efficient service. The days of 3 hour wait times are long behind us, but we will continue to monitor the effects on the surrounding branches and will always be open to suggestions or proposals for locating a branch in Fishers if it appears necessary.”
The statistics about Fishers License branch usage are not an argument for not having a BMV in Fishers. Logically, if the Fishers License branch numbers were down due to Internet usage, then so would the usage numbers for every other branch as the internet and people’s use of it for transactions isn’t a phenomenon unique to Fishers residents. Further, the lack of a lease is not a very plausible argument as a drive around Fishers would reveal that there is plenty of space to lease.
In your article the BMV spokesperson implies that there has not been a public outcry sufficient to warrant re-establishing a BMV branch in Fishers. Were Fishers residents ever polled about this prior to the closing? Many Fishers residents are just discovering that the license branch no longer exists. If Current were to ask for Fishers residents to provide feedback to them on this issue, we may find out if there is or is not a widespread concern.
Finally, consider for a moment the approximate populations of the areas near Fishers where license branches are located compared to the population of Fishers. McCordsville with a population of about 5,000 has a BMV branch, and Noblesville with a population of about 55,000 has a BMV branch and Lawrence with a population of about 47,000 has a BMV branch. Fishers has a population of about 85,000 and continues to grow.
I hope that you will continue to monitor this situation. Thank you for your attention to this issue.